Top games to look forward to in January 2023
IIt’s a new year, which means new games to look forward to. January is quite diverse, with different types of adventure games, retro-inspired titles and action RPGs to check out. Here are some games that might be worth your time.
Monster Hunter Rise (PS4, PS5, Xbox One, XSX)
Xbox and PlayStation gamers will finally get their hands on it Monster Hunter Rise when it releases for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4 and PS5 on January 20. Players are tasked with defending Kamura Village from the impending Rampage, choosing from one of 14 weapon types and, well, hunting monsters. Classic beasts like Rathalos, Mizutsune and Pukei Pukei return, joining newcomers like Aknosom, Great Izuchi and Magnamalo.
Kill strategically, craft better armor and weapons from your loot, then hunt down tougher monsters – that’s the Monster Hunter life. On Xbox Series X and PS5, there are options for 4K/60 FPS and even 1080p/120 FPS, along with support for 3D audio. Despite the lack of cross-platform multiplayer, the new mechanics (like Wirebug and Silkbind Skills) and monsters make it worth checking out.
After some delays, Luminous Productions’ upcoming action RPG Abandoned will finally be released on January 24 for PS5 and PC. It stars Ella Balinska as Frey Holland, a New Yorker who discovers a mysterious bracelet that sends her to Athia’s realm. When the bracelet becomes sentient and is named the Cuff, Frey embarks on a journey to take down the once peaceful Tantas and rescue Athia.
She can use dozens of different magic types, traverse the world using magical parkour, and fight creatures destroyed by The Break (to which she is strangely immune). While the recent demo may have received mixed responses, it’s still worth seeing how Abandoned appears at launch.
Dead Space is finally seeing a revival, thanks to Motive Studio. The remake is based on the iconic 2008 sci-fi horror, where engineer Isaac Clarke boards the USG Ishimura and encounters nightmarish Necromorphs. Along with vastly improved visuals in terms of environmental detail, textures and volumetrics, Dead Space features Gunner Wright as the voice of Isaac, with the character now fully voiced, and Tanya Clarke as the voice of Nicole (who she also starred in) Dead Space 2).
New rooms, routes, obstacles, the peeling system for realistic limb damage, and a new Intensity Director for dynamically adjusting Necromorph spawns and effects while delivering around 1,200 terrifying random events are also being added. Dead Space is out January 27 for Xbox Series X/S, PS5 and PC.
Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider
If you liked Contra-esque Burning chromethen JoyMasher’s action platforms Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider can scratch the same retro itch. Out January 12 for PS4, PS5, PC and Nintendo Switch, it’s set in a dystopian future where Moonrider is awakened and decides to wreak havoc against his authoritarian masters. In addition to dashing and wall-jumping, Moonrider also performs various melee attacks, giving this more of a hack-and-slash feel. Explore the eight stages to discover ability-changing chips, or take in 16-bit pixel art and gorgeous soundtracks as you fight for your life.
Season: A letter to the future
Better known for the multiplayer survival title The Darwin ProjectScavengers Studio takes a completely different route Season: A letter to the future. After living in a village that does not experience changing seasons, protagonist Estelle sets out to see the world before a mysterious event changes it forever.
Players will explore landscapes by bike, record events and study art while meeting and helping people. The purpose is to collect memories and learn more about what is to come. Season: A letter to the future is out on January 31st for PS4, PS5 and PC.
On the surface, Stitch Heads’ Superfuse is about being the hero and saving humanity. But in truth, humanity is dominated by the superpower-wielding elite after leaving a dying Earth. As an Enforcer, you are tasked with taking out the monstrous Corrupted at their behest, with the story present in a comic book format.
Launching to Steam Early Access on January 31st, Superfuse offers isometric action RPG gameplay. You choose two classes with different powers and skills and further enhance them with different weapons, armor and boosters. The campaign can be played alone (even offline) or with up to four players in drop-in, drop-out co-op.
A room for the unbound
A room for the unbound offers gorgeous pixel art and a chilling late 90s setting, but there’s a lot to unpack in the story. Focused on middle school students Atma and Raya in rural Indonesia who gain the ability to dive into minds, they must explore the world, interact with the people and deal with bizarre events such as meteors and giant cats.
In the midst of all this chaos, the pace of life and the exploration of mental health issues make for an endearing experience. A room for the unbound is out January 19 for PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch.
Children of Silenttown
How many games have a “very mean cat” messing with the main character as a selling point? Children of Silenttown does, and it’s probably the least frightening aspect of this dark adventure from Elf Games and Luna2. You control Lucy, who suspects something sinister in the woods neighboring her village, and it doesn’t help that people are disappearing without explanation.
Lucy sets out to investigate, solve puzzles and talk to people (before they suddenly disappear) in a point-and-click adventure, where singing can help more than you’d expect. Launching on January 11, Children of Silenttown will be available for PC.
Cuddle Monster Games is no stranger to rogue-likes and bullet hell titles, as seen with Hell is other demons. However, the next game is Lonely ruin, is a twin-stick roguelike shooter focused more on magic. You venture to the ruins of a magical city turned into a ruined sanctuary to investigate ancient magic, which has since transformed its people into terrifying creatures.
A lone ruin seems to hold the answers, but you’ll have to fight your way through several enemies and bosses to get to it. Various spells, from beams and ricocheting shots to magical slashes, and upgrades are available as you progress. On top of this comes Survival Mode, a wave-based mode where enemies become tougher and more numerous over time. Lonely ruin is out on January 12 for PC and Nintendo Switch.
One Piece Odyssey
Based on Eiichiro Oda’s super popular manga, One Piece Odyssey is a turn-based RPG published by Bandai Namco and developed by ICLA (by Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl fame). It features open spaces and dungeons, where each Straw Hat pirate has a unique ability for exploration (like Luffy slinging across holes or Zoro cutting down barriers).
The game launches on January 13, 2023 for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5 and PC. A demo will also be available on January 10th for consoles, if you want to try it before you buy.